Good Nutritional Guidelines

It’s difficult to know what exactly makes up a healthy diet. Many are not just concerned for themselves, but for their family, as well. There are a ton of diet plans to find in supermarket checkout lane magazines, each of them claiming to be the easiest and quickest way to lose weight without compromising on nutrition, but which, if any, are the real deal? Unfortunately, many of the foods we love to eat are often the worst to eat when it comes to nutritional value. This is one of the main reasons so many refuse to even think about it, which gives room for the myths and confusion that surround the topic to grow.The most confusing thing of all is the way the “experts” seem to differ on even the most basic of premises, each one contradicting several others from week to week, it seems. New studies always come around to disprove something we all knew was true when it comes to nutrition, and now something that we thought was good for us is now bad for us, or vice versa. Just think about the shifting opinions over the years regarding such things as coffee or red wine. It seems impossible to be knowledgeable about subjects that seems to shift so much, where even some of the basic premises don’t seem consistent.Places to Find Good Nutrition InformationHow good the information may just be a factor of where you get it. All those checkout aisle magazines with their diets of the week are probably not good sources. Some of these may literally have made up their information for that week’s issue. Many of these diets have tailored their information for specific reasons, usually to sell their products or prove some sort of pseudo-scientific point. Anyone can write a book saying anything, fill it with a lot of technical-sounding words and pass it off as fact, but if the studies backing it were not scientifically done and legitimately put together, they are only advertisements shilling whatever the magazine wants to sell that particular week.The best place to get nutrition information is, of course, from a doctor or nutritionist. If news comes from trusted sources such as these, it’s more likely they are acting in the best interests of the reader, not of a company trying to sell you something.Information can be found online, but be careful of it – many of them are merely trying to sell something that really has no nutritional value at all.What Is Good Nutrition Made Of?Everyone has different needs when it comes to nutrition. We all need the same basic nutrients but we may need them in differing amounts. Each person needs a certain amount of calories per day and those calories are divided into protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Someone taller and heavier will generally need more calories than someone smaller and lighter. The more one weighs, the more calories it takes to maintain that weight. Weight loss, then, means having a diet with fewer calories – but it does not mean a drastic cut. Too sharp a drop in calories can actually make it more difficult to lose weight.If you are trying to lose weight by reducing your caloric intake, your nutritional intake may suffer in the process. It is important to not only get the right number of calories, but the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.What’s the Deal with Nutrition, Anyway?Food is essential to life. The things we eat are used to heal, to help strength the body against illness and injury, and of course, to give us the energy we need to go about our daily business. Everything the human body does, the smallest action and the most complex processes, all get the power they need to function from the food we eat. A steady diet of junk food is poor nutrition and the body will become sluggish and begin to store excess fat. It will also become easier to get ill and it will just be difficult to move around in general. The longer a diet like this continues, the longer the body goes without good nutrition, which means more sickness and more weight gain.To be strong and healthy, a body needs good nutrition. This is the way the human body gets strength to move around and keep active and keep excess weight off.Protein Supplements as an Aid to Good NutritionIt may not be very easy to get all the protein or other nutrients your body needs, depending upon the nutritional goals you’ve set for yourself. Many people try to lose weight by eating less – a lot less than their bodies require to stay healthy. Oddly enough, going from eating too much to eating too little can actually make weight loss more difficult. A body that feels as if its starving triggers a slow metabolism, which means those calories you do ingest are hoarded by the body, instead of burned as energy. And of course it probably still lacks the nutrition it needs to keep the body properly functioning. Using a protein supplement to replace a small meal or as a between meal snack can be the solution to a diet with fewer calories but sufficient nutrition.

Increase Fat Loss by Nutritional Journaling

Fat loss continues to be one of the most popular topics in health and fitness and people are always looking for new ways to lose weight and improve the way they look. Companies are always promoting new and often untested products such as pills, powders, creams, exercise equipment, and diets to promote fat loss, but the vast majority of these things are marketing gimmicks that are rarely as effective as previously established methods for losing fat. One such proven method for increasing fat loss that often goes overlooked is nutritional journaling.If you are unfamiliar with the concept of nutritional journaling, it is basically just writing down what you eat and drink throughout the day, although there are many different ways to go about keeping a nutrition journal. A journal can be very thorough or much more simplistic, but keeping virtually any type of nutrition journal should increase the amount of fat you lose.It may not seem as though keeping track of what you eat and drink would significantly affect fat loss, but you can see how powerful nutritional journals are by taking a closer look at the most popular and enduring weight loss businesses. Most popular programs do not necessarily use a journal, but they generally use something to help you keep track of what you eat. This typically involves things like following a point system or eating pre-made meals that have specific calorie contents.Regardless of what system is used, the real benefits come from making you keep track of what you eat and drink and not from some special characteristic of one particular system. Some people will certainly prefer one system over another, but the specific system is not really all that important. By tracking your eating and drinking habits, you become more aware of everything that you put into your body. As a result, your unconscious eating habits start becoming more conscious eating choices.In other words, by keeping track of foods, calories, points, etc., you are actually increasing your awareness about how and what you eat. Many people have poor eating habits and they often don’t realize how much or how frequently they eat. By following this type of system, you can stop being a slave to poor eating habits and start making more conscious decisions about what you put into your body.Fortunately, you don’t have to sign up for one of those programs, because you can get almost all the same benefits from keeping a nutritional journal on your own. A personal nutrition journal doesn’t have to contain every little detail about what you eat and drink, although a journal with more useful information generally results in greater fat loss over time. However, even a simple journal with very basic information may significantly improve your fat loss.Just the act of writing down the items you eat and drink, along with the time you had them, will make you think more seriously about your nutritional choices. For instance, if you are supposed to be eating healthy and you find yourself writing down a lot of junk food or other empty calories, you will see how much you are straying from the way you are supposed to eat. Then the next time you start to have chips or cookies, you will probably think about having to write it down, which by itself may make you stop and choose something healthier or have a smaller portion instead.Keeping this type of basic journal is very quick and easy and you do not need any special equipment. You can use a pen and paper, computer, iPhone, or whatever else works for you. The only thing is that you should write down what you eat/drink fairly soon afterwards, because if you wait too long, you may forget some things or the information will otherwise not be as accurate. The more accurate your information, the more it will help you.If you are willing to put forth a little more effort with your nutritional journal, you can also use it to fine tune your nutrition program and further improve your overall health and fat loss over time. To get more out of your nutritional journal, I still recommend keeping track of what and when you eat and drink, but you will also have to look at more specific components of your food. At the minimum, you should keep track of total calories, calories from fat, calories from protein, calories from carbohydrates, and grams of fiber.You can go further and break things down even more to include variables such as calories from sugar, calories from trans-fats, calories from saturated fat, etc. In these cases, the important thing is to have the information be in numerical form and have almost every category use the same type of measurement. For example, in the above categories, everything is broken down into number of calories per item/ingredient. You don’t have to use calories, but it is probably the easiest.The issue is that much of this information will not originally be listed in terms of calories, but rather grams. The problem with grams is that all grams are not equal in terms of calories. For instance, one gram of carbohydrate or protein is about 4 calories, alcohol is 7 calories, and fat is 9 calories, so simply writing down everything in terms of grams does not really provide a clear picture of your overall nutritional intake. By converting everything into calories, you can easily compare your intake of each type of ingredient to find out what you need to add or what you should consume less.On the other hand, fiber does not have any calories, so you should still record it in grams, because you want to eat at least 25 grams per day. Your fiber should ideally come from both soluble and insoluble sources, but most of it will probably be insoluble. In any case, if you see that you are not getting close to the minimum 25 grams of fiber, you should make it a priority to eat more foods that are high in fiber. However, without keeping track of your fiber intake, you may not even realize that you need more fiber. These types of changes are important, because improving fiber intake can cause significant your long-term health and fat loss.Some people choose to track their nutrition in even greater detail and additionally record their intake of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. However, I would not recommend nutritional journaling for anything this involved as it would take way too much time and effort. If you want stats on everything, there are numerous computer programs available to help you keep track of all this information. For most people, a more basic nutritional journal will work just as well.If you have never tried keeping a nutritional journal, it may sound like more effort than it is worth, but this is certainly not the case. The most basic journals are easy to keep and take very little time and keeping a nutritional journal really does increase your awareness and makes you more accountable for your eating habits. This can be very empowering, but it also makes you take responsibility for how and what you eat, which is probably one of the big reasons why many people are unwilling to try nutritional journaling.It is certainly easier to follow your regular eating habits without giving them much thought and if you have good nutritional habits, this approach may be fine. Unfortunately, many people do not have the best eating habits and this is problematic, because so much of long-term health and fat loss success is dependent developing good habits. Keeping a nutritional journal will let you identify the problems in your current eating program and help motivate you to replace bad eating habits with good ones over time.There really are many different ways that keeping a nutritional journal can help improve your nutritional habits and ultimately your fat loss, so I hope you at least give a simple journal a try. Keeping a nutrition journal often results in more significant improvement than people first expect, but it works best when you are honest, accurate, and consistent with your journal. In any case, a nutritional journal will certainly give you better results than the next new miracle pill or similarly gimmicky health and fitness product that promises great results with minimal effort.

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.